By Meghan Flynn SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – December 21, 1988 will forever be a date ingrained in the minds of Syracuse University students past and present, it is the day that the University lost 35 students on Pan Am flight 103. The memories of the students lost live on in Remembrance Scholars, a select group of 35 students who are chosen to represent each one of the students lost 29 years ago.
“At first I had no idea, I’m from Puerto Rico so this specific event I really didn’t know what it was,” says 2017 Remembrance Scholar Alex Alvarez. “Imagine yourself in a similar situation having your friend abroad and coming back and never making it home that’s something that really impacts you.”
The Remembrance Scholars have spent months organizing the events that will take place this week in order to educate the students and community on how they can “look back and act forward” in honor of those lost.
“We are making sure people keep seeing those 35 as individuals as people with characteristics and with a whole life ahead of them that was cut short and not just as numbers,” says Zainab Abdali, Remembrance Scholar 2017.
The impact of the Lockerbie bombing is still felt on the campus today – even though it’s been 29 years. Sarah Gardner, a Syracuse University senior says she feels connected to the students because, “these people could’ve been my friends, could’ve been people that I lived with, people that I loved and it’s so important to me now to remember them and honor them going forward.”
For the remembrance scholars there are two major things they hope that students take from this week. First, as Alverez says, “this is not a week to scare people…these are things that happen in the world but what can we do as an individual to do something better about it in the future to something better about it?”
Secondly, the scholars hope that students and the community as a whole carry with them the stories of the students they represent long after they leave the Syracuse University campus.